US, China leave future of trade talks unclear


USA officials are meeting with their counterparts in Beijing this week for the first face-to-face talks since Trump and China's President Xi Jinping in December agreed to a 90-day truce in a trade war that has roiled worldwide markets. The S&P 500 Index has fallen about 7 percent since Trump and Xi agreed on a 90-day truce at their meeting in Argentina last month. Retailers sank after Macy's said its sales over the holidays were worse than expected, and airlines slumped after American gave a disappointing revenue forecast. -China relationship for years.

These include expanded Chinese purchases of American products, greater protections for USA intellectual property, constraints on Chinese industrial policy, and enforcement and verification of follow-through by China.

"Chinese and US officials wrapped up three days of trade talks today with one-day extension". Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall.

A statement from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative did not characterize the tone of the talks or say what would happen next, noting only the U.S. delegation would await "guidance on the next steps" after reporting back to Washington. "The limited policy movement that we've seen so far suggests that a game-changing deal remains unlikely". Trump tweeted on Tuesday.

Morgan Stanley now expects Brent to average $61 a barrel this year, down from a previous estimate of $69 a barrel, and USA crude to average $54 per barrel, against a prior forecast of $60.

The negotiations were initially scheduled to last two days but went on for three because both sides were "serious" and "honest", Gao Feng, spokesman at the Chinese commerce ministry, told a news conference.

A Chinese government spokesman says three days of talks with USA envoys aimed at ending a costly tariff battle have ended, but no details were immediately released. "China does not need to use any other tactics".

Trump, who has been accusing China of indulging in unfair trade practices contributing to the huge trade deficit with the USA amounting to United States dollars 375 billion, on Tuesday said the trade talks with Beijing were going on "very well". Both sides have provided scant information about their discussions.

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By Thursday, however, the positive feelings ebbed because of a lack of a details on the talks despite a warm statement from China on the outcome, and financial markets took a breather from the rally.

The American delegation is led by a deputy USA trade representative, Jeffrey Gerrish, and includes agriculture, energy, commerce, treasury and State Department officials.

The US threat to raise tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods from 10 to 25 percent, if no resolution is reached, underscores the one-sided and bullying character of Washington's approach to the talks. Buying had slumped after China imposed a 25 percent import duty on USA shipments of oilseed on July 6 in response to US tariffs.

They say China's companies are treated unfairly in national security reviews of proposed corporate acquisitions, though nearly all deals are approved unchanged.

Those purchases would help meet another key demand from Trump: that China take action to reduce the massive USA trade deficit with its biggest economic rival.

Cooling economic growth in both countries is increasing pressure to reach a settlement. The Nasdaq composite edged up 16 points, or 0.2 percent, to 6,973. Auto sales tumbled 16 per cent in November over a year earlier. But analysts believe that it may raise rates just once this year if economic growth slows. Chinese pledges to increase USA imports would naturally center on a boost in agricultural products sent to China.

The U.S. China Business Council, a group representing American companies doing business in China, applauded the "substantive discussions" over the past three days, but urged the two governments to make tangible progress on achieving equal treatment of foreign companies in China and changes to policies aimed at technology transfer.